Our Commitment to Social Justice and Equality
The past several weeks have been difficult for our country, state and communities, without a doubt. In the midst of a global pandemic, racial tension and community divisions, civil unrest has erupted within our streets, homes and businesses.
Serving as a champion for our region’s resilience through public service, this alteration of our communities has profoundly affected us at GCRTA. We are not simply public transportation providers, we are a community leader, we are an employer, we are an economic partner and we are public servants. Our agency represents thousands of essential workers and their families who are involved in conversations about social justice and equality.
The recent tragic and senseless deaths of Mr. George Floyd, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, Ms. Breonna Taylor, and many others has created unrest in our country. It has left our families and businesses broken. It has left isolating effects on Americans of all ethnicities, creed and color now and for future generations. Many of our employees, customers and the communities we serve have been devastated by these events. Furthermore, they are hurt, angry, afraid and disappointed.
GCRTA has a responsibility to provide first class transportation services to all residents in Cuyahoga County. We must be the example for others to follow; we must do our part to embrace one another with respect, dignity and empathy in order to drive positive change.
As a public agency, we employ and serve a diverse population. We seek to promote and support diversity and inclusion across all areas of GCRTA and the communities we serve. As we move ahead, as individuals, as organizations, and as a unified community --- we must work collectively in order to motivate positive change.
We stand ready to aid in the fight against these ills and stand ready to be part of the solution. We are, and will always be, a community stronger together than apart.
India L. Birdsong
Chief Executive Officer
Floun’say R. Caver, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer
Deputy General Manager – Operations
Mayor Dennis M. Clough
RTA Board President
Service Changes for August 9, 2020
GCRTA is planning to change the service on a number of bus routes to improve peak frequencies and weekday accessibility. GCRTA is also re-instating service on three of its Park-n-Rides and its B-Line Trolley.
Pick up timetables for the following routes:
New timetables will be available on our online trip planner at rideRTA.com, through the
RTAnswerline (216)-621-9500, or at the Tower City Station.
Transit Police Collaborative Helps the Homeless
When COVID-19 hit in late March, many Greater Cleveland shelters, churches and libraries that the homeless visit began closing, leaving the homeless with no place to go. As a result, many of the homeless began using GCRTA buses, trains, and stations as their place of shelter. This created difficulties for GCRTA in its mandate to provide only essential trips and to do so in a manner that complies with state and federal guidelines, promoting and protecting the health of its riders and operators.
To address this problem, GCRTA formed a collaboration with social service agencies including FrontLine Service and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH). The goal was not only to help relocate those in need, but to also assist them in accessing services to meet the needs of those with mental health concerns and the homeless during the pandemic. NEOCH is a non-profit coalition of service providers that works to find solutions for the homeless. FrontLine Service also provides a comprehensive continuum of care for the homeless.
Within a two-week period, Transit Police, along with the help of bus and/or rail operators, identified the rapid transit stations, which were experiencing the highest volume of homeless and the approximate time of their presence on the system. This resulted in NEOCH sending outreach workers to those locations and successfully interacting with and providing services to address their needs and assist in relocating these individuals.
GCRTA’s operators and Transit Police working collaboratively with local social service agencies has proven to be effective not only in reducing risks associated with COVID-19, but also in helping the homeless to obtain assistance that in many cases has proven to be life-saving.
The following are but a few examples of the success of our collaborative efforts.
- A man with multiple arrest and psychiatric transports since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic advised Transit Police that he wanted help. Transit Police contacted FrontLine Service, which had a worker meet him at the hospital within 30 minutes. The man complied with all programs and steps to complete his treatment.
- A man had been at one of GCRTA’s stations all day, had no place to go and was asking for help. FrontLine arranged for a worker to meet with him.
- A man with a history of multiple criminal incidents was at a GCRTA station asking for help getting sober and finding a home. Transit Police contacted FrontLine Service, who arranged for a worker to be there within 30 minutes. The man was provided a room at the Salvation Army, assigned a caseworker, and began his drug and alcohol intervention.
Transit Police Reforms and Improvements
GCRTA Transit Police are studying a number of reforms and improvements that can be enacted to better serve our riders and the public.
Our use of force policy already prohibited choke holds. We’re adding even stronger guidance concerning neck restraints, requiring that suspects be moved from a prone position to a sitting position as soon as possible if handcuffing is required.
We are identifying additional de-escalation and racial bias/sensitivity training for officers.
While our buses, trains and other property already are equipped with cameras we’re planning to equip all our officers with body cameras to help further increase safety and accountability.
Greater Cleveland RTA employees are working hard each and every day. To keep our vehicles moving, so YOU can keep moving. To keep our employees and riders safe (this would be showing cleaning and police) while we provide essential services.
-We are essential.
-We are here Cleveland.
-We are Cleveland Strong.https://twitter.com/gcrta
-We are in this Together.
More Info on GCRTA
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Construction on East 79th Street Red Line Station
April 2020 brought many things to Greater Cleveland: a worldwide pandemic, words like quarantine and social distancing, and the start of annual construction season.
GCRTA is no exception to construction season and on April 1 the existing Red Line station at E. 79th St. closed for reconstruction. This station is the last one slated for reconstruction in order to make all GCRTA rail stations ADA accessible.